Central defender Mahmoud Alaa and in-form Tunisian midfielder Ferjani Sassi scored a brace apiece as leaders Zamalek completed the double over Maqassa for the first time with a 4-1 Egyptian Premier League win on Tuesday ahead of their travel to Nairobi,Kenya to play Gor Mahia in the CAF Confederation Cup group stage match at Kasarani.
Alaa netted with a half-volley and penalty in the first half to take his tally to 12 league goals, moving clear on top of the league’s scoring charts, before Sassi scored another double to pick up where he left off in the thrilling 3-3 draw with Pyramids FC last week.
Zamalek finished with ten men after right-back Hazem Emam, who deputized for Hamdi Nagguez after the Tunisian international missed the game for personal reasons, received a straight red card, apparently for insulting the linesman.
Paulin Voavy scored for Maqassa just before the end but they will still regret a dismal performance, their worst against Zamalek whom they enjoy a great record against.
The White Knights beat Maqassa home and away for the first time since the unfancied side earned promotion to the top flight in 2010.
Zamalek, who are eyeing their first league crown since 2015, top the table with 45 points, six clear of second-placed Pyramids who played two matches more. Holders Ahly lie third with 33 points and two games in hand.
Maqassa are fourth on 30 points.
The visitors had the first effort when Malagasy winger Voavy went close with a shot from outside the area but this was as good as they got, with Zamalek then assuming total control.
Winger Mahmoud Kahraba had a shot smothered by the keeper after a neat one-two with deep-lying forward Youssef Ibrahim and striker Omar El-Said headed just over the bar following an inviting cross from Hazem Emam.
Zamalek’s pressure paid off three minutes before the break when Tarek Hamed’s lofted pass broke the offside trap and fell to Alaa, whose powerful half-volley went into the roof of the net.
Just before the half-time whistle, a Maqassa defender needlessly clattered into El-Said and Alaa made no mistake from the resulting penalty, sending the keeper the wrong way with a low effort.
It was a one-way traffic in the second half as Zamalek displayed an attractive brand of attacking football to rip Maqassa to shreds.
Sassi struck the woodwork with a curling free kick on 52 minutes but made amends six minutes later, picking up the ball from Ibrahim after the latter made a jinking run into the area to fire home with aplomb.
He completed the rout in the 72nd minute with a brilliant diving header from a Kahraba cross to further enhance his status as a fan favourite.
Voavy netted a stoppage-time consolation with a skidding shot from the edge of the area but it was too little, too late as Zamalek continued their relentless march towards the league title.